Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Interactive Career Exploration Serious Game Within Whyville

Free Serious Game Designed to Help Students Ages 8–15 Explore Future Careers


As anticipated in my prior posting Serious Games Bring Career Exploration To Children Around The World, ACT and Numedeon Inc. announced today the official launch of CareerQuest™, a free Serious Game designed to help younger students expand their awareness of possible future careers. 


PRESS RELEASE

ACT and Numedeon Launch CareerQuest™:
An Interactive Career Exploration Game within the Whyville Virtual World
Free Game Designed to Help Students Ages 8–15 Explore Future Careers

IOWA CITY, Iowa, and PASADENA, Calif.—ACT and Numedeon Inc. announced today the launch of CareerQuest™, a free game designed to help younger students expand their awareness of possible future careers. Developed in partnership by the two firms, the game appears on Whyville.net, an online virtual learning world created by Numedeon. The game, which is based on ACT’s extensive research on education and careers, is aimed at students ages 8 to 15.

“We know how important it is for young students to start thinking about their futures early on so they can take the best steps to be ready to succeed in college and career,” said ACT Chief Innovation Officer Miguel Encarnaçấo. “Online gaming provides a personal, emotional and relevant interaction with digital content and with other players. Our focus is to give younger students insights on careers using an interesting, fun and educational platform.”

“The kids visiting Whyville have always loved games and activities that relate to careers, from being fashion designers to marine biologists,” said Jennifer Sun, Numedeon president. “We were therefore not surprised to see more than 24,000 visits to the ACT Career Club in the first two days of launch in early 2013.”

CareerQuest can be accessed in the virtual world of Whyville.net at the ACT Career Club, where students can browse information on more than 550 occupations organized into six career clusters ranging from science and technology to the arts.

As students explore possible career choices, they can narrow their search by indicating their interests and preferences. Students can view specific data on each occupation, including typical work tasks, average salary, pros and cons, number of workers in that field, future growth opportunities, as well as the minimum and recommended education/training required for the job.

“While research suggests that middle school-aged children are already making choices that affect their eventual careers, at present they have little information or support in doing so,” said James Bower, Numedeon chief executive officer. “Now, through the innovative ACT Career Club, they can explicitly learn about and plan for their future careers. It’s a perfect addition to Whyville, and ACT is the ideal partner.”

“Virtual gaming represents an exciting new venture for ACT,” said Encarnaçấo. “Our collaboration with Numedeon is helping us explore new learning and engagement experiences as well as provide a new way for elementary and middle school students to benefit from decades of valuable ACT career data. Along with the new ACT Aspire™ assessment system that we are developing, the introduction of CareerQuest is one more way in which we are working to help improve college and career readiness along the kindergarten to career continuum.”

Launched in 1999, Whyville is an award-winning web-based virtual world integrating educational experiences with games and role playing. More than 7 million Whyville “citizens” ages 8 through 15 have created their own avatars to explore the many online destinations established in cooperation with public and private sponsors.

To explore the ACT Career Club or play CareerQuest, visit act.whyville.net

About ACT

ACT is an independent, nonprofit organization with a 53-year history of generating data-driven assessments and research. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, and with offices throughout the world, ACT is trusted for its continual development of next generation assessments that determine college and career readiness and provide the most advanced measure of workplace skills.